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Featured Christian denominations vs JW "New Light", Unity and Truth

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Israel Khan, May 18, 2019.

  1. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    As an Ex-JW (left in February... YAY!) I know that JW's pride themselves with the unity that they have vs the multiple denominations among "Christendom".

    From what I understand about most Protestant denominations I have come across (as an example) is that they do not dispute what they see as the fundamentals of Christianity, but they choose the denomination depending on what that denomination emphasizes. So they still see each other as united. So, for an example James White will debate Michael Brown on predestination, but they still see each other as saved and true Christians. The bible allows open interpretation in many cases where it doesn't explicitly say something, such as in prophecy. So it should be left to open interpretation or dependent on a persons conscience.

    Now the JW's say that they have unity, but this isn't dependent on open interpretation in most cases. The JW's have to say that they believe what the Faithful and Discreet Slave (Governing Body) say they must believe. So what they "believe" is dependent on other men's understanding. The question is then: are they really united in their faith? Can one's belief truly be changed just because others say it is what you must believe? I have witnessed in many cases (including my own faith, which is why I left) that Witnesses hold to individual beliefs which contradict what the organisation says is believed now. Individual viewpoints also cropped up in Watchtower studies, mostly by older ones, who still believed stuff that they were taught many years ago.

    This leads me to the "New Light". This is the reason why the older JW's have old views. They haven't been keeping up with the organisations teachings. "New Light" also brings truth into the equation. JW's from 50 years ago had a very different view of scripture that they have today. So, up until the recent "New Light", the witnesses have actually been teaching a few falsehoods, and in Rutherfords time they were teaching many falsehoods. And since there will be "New Light" in the future, they are teaching falsehoods now. A person might have viewed the old teachings as wrong, but for the sake of unity, if they expressed disagreement, then they were frowned upon, even disfellowshipped, even if they were right in their viewpoint. Also, when the Governing Body wishes to change a teaching, at some point there must be disunity, because one of the Governing Body must have thought that a current teaching was wrong, which is to be an apostate. He must have openly professed that he believed a teaching to be wrong. He was an apostate when presenting the teaching. The nature of these teachings that are changed should be open to interpretation, such as the understanding of prophecy and the understanding of the "generation", things which have been changed on many occasions and, for the sake of unity, if anybody taught those falsehoods differently, they could be disfellowshipped.

    What is more important? The unity in even the most obscure of understandings? Or truth? It seems that many denominations are options for people who believe in different things and allows them to express this with like minded people. JW's have to express unity even if they don't actually believe a teaching which rests on another man's conscience which is subjective.

    Example: Among JW's it is frowned upon for a man to wear a beard. Obviously this is not stated in scripture. It is actually endorsed since the Israelites had to have beards. Even Jesus wore a beard. Yet somehow the Witnesses say that it is a bad thing based on obscure reasoning ironically. And to remain united they will limit the privileges of a brother who wears a beard for the sake of unity. The same goes for wearing suits. None of this is biblical. It is Pharisaic in its enforcement.

    The fruit that they bear also reveals a lot about them. Yes, many members are lovely people and strive for holiness. But the organisation itself is problematic. The organisation shows signs of Behaviour Control, Information Control, Thought Control and Emotional control. Signs of a cult. Information control even goes so far as members not being able to communicate with apostates. I am surprised Witnesses are on this site. I was on Religious Forums because I was not united with Organisation rules. Any witness who communicates with me will be showing disunity. They disfellowship members, which is shunning, which often leads to many committing suicide. Shunning is very cult like behaviour. They restrict self expression through turning one into a JW clone, which is why JW's sound similar and use loaded language, which often makes one dead inside, as everybody wants to be accepted for who they are. Thought control is achieved by even limiting what they believe. They are discouraged from entertaining alternative scriptural viewpoints to the Organisation. So they cannot read the bible and come to their own understanding even if the organisations understanding didn't make sense. I was seen as argumentative because I questioned many things. Some have been shunned for expressing alternative views in sincerity.

    Someone who is studying the bible with them should be aware that they will only discover many teachings once they are in the group. Also, once someone is baptised as a Witness they cannot leave without being disfellowshipped and shunned. This means that everybody who they know or are related to in the group will not even look their way (besides elders). As a result they will be alone in the world. Someone who is raised as a Witness, follows JW rules such as only hanging out with JW's, gets baptised at 14 (for instance), and discovers that the religion is false and leaves or commits an "error"and disfellowshipped, will be shunned and their own flesh and blood will not speak to them. This often leads understandably to depression and many suicides.

    The implication of "New Light" when studying to get baptised as a JW is that what you believe to be proper bible teaching now will not be what they teach 50 years down the line as truth. Therefore you very well might not be agreeing with them in the future. You might see that they are teaching errors. So getting baptised now is getting baptised to an organisation and not a set of beliefs. You follow the organisation, not what you believe to be true. So if you get married as a JW, to a JW, have children and only have JW friends, and you see that what they are teaching is not what you signed up for, then there is a great chance that you will lose your family. This has happened in loads of cases. This is thought control and behaviour control.

    The Australian Royal Commission revealed that the Witnesses do not deal with child abuse in an appropriate manner. Elders are encouraged by the branch not to report child abuse cases to the police. Many Ex Witnesses have shared their bad experiences with the Org regarding abuse. this is not the sign of bearing good fruit. This is negligence. The right food was definitely not fed to the sheep at the proper time.

    Even though Witnesses frown upon denominations, they themselves can be seen as a denomination of the Bible Students. Charles Taze Russell (himself influenced by the Adventist movement) started the Bible Students. When Rutherford took over the group splintered into many different ones:

    Read:
    Bible Student movement - Wikipedia

    The only reason why they say they aren't a denomination is because they see the others as false. And they do not have doctrine to support their validity because it changes constantly, which means that Rutherford's group wasn't the same as the group today. In fact the other groups stick to Russell's teachings and are the same. So they were the true followers of Russell.

    Anyway. I write this to show that JW's shouldn't judge Christian denominations. That would be hypocritical. Even though they say they have unity, this actually proves that they should not judge. They are very similar to the Catholic Church (who they judged constantly) with regards to the qualities that they judge the RCC by: The Governing Body is equivalent to the Pope, they demand unity to a much worse extreme than the RCC before the Reformation, they withhold information like the RCC used to, they excommunicate like the RCC used to, they have inquisitions like the RCC used to(Read Crisis of Conscience by ex Governing Body member Ray Franz), etc. The cool thing about the Roman Catholic Church though is that they have changed and admit their mistakes...

    Read Romans 2.

    Let me know whether you agree with me or not, if you find this informative, or, if you disagree with my statements above, feel free to correct me. What I wrote might be jumbled a bit, maybe incoherent at times, like I am jumping from topic to topic, but this is only a speck of what I had to sort through in my mind.

    The truth about "The Truth" shall set us free.
     
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  2. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    May it be that you have a more "negative" view of the JW because you have left them?
    As far as my connection with peole from JW i have yet to come across someone who say similar to what you state in your OP (i dont say your view is wrong)
    Of those JW in this forum i find it very good to discuss with them even they are from a very diferent spiritual path then what i follow.

    But i have not gone very deep in to the society within JW, so maybe it is good to get a view point from you since you have left that path. Often hearing from both sides in a case is good :)
     
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  3. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    What a great post! I found your insights to be very informative. I was raised Catholic and see such similarities between religious groups, like the Jehovah's Witnesses and others who have top down leadership such as; a pope, governing body, prophet, etc. , which they look to and are expected to follow. I also appreciate your thoughts concerning denominations. At one time I was a member of a religious group that prided itself on the fact that everywhere in the world the Sunday school classes were on the same lesson. This was pointed to as being better than all the variation of denominations of Christendom and proof they were the true Church. It wasn't until after I was saved I realized the difference between conformity and the unity with diversity that exists in the Body of Christ.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
     
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  4. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    Well, you definitely have to hear from both sides of the issue. That is only logical. No way am I telling people to just listen to my view.

    What I say people should generally research if they are interested. My statements are mainly related to implication of doctrine and how it coincides with the Bible. Also the cult control aspects would only be experienced once a person is in the group.

    And by no means am I saying that Witnesses themselves are bad. Many of them are awesome people. There are standards that they hold of value which everyone should hold of value.

    But I do encourage others to really research the history and experiences from multiple viewpoints and also what they themselves say in their publications.
     
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  5. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    This i do agree with you :)
     
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  6. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    I think that facts are facts. They are neither negative or positive. They just are.
     
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  7. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    Thanks :)

    What actually led me to leave the group is that I discovered after 7 years that they believe that Jesus is only the mediator between Jehovah and the Anointed. The implication is that the mediators between Jesus and the other sheep is the Anointed and the Governing Body. I just couldn't accept that because the Bible clearly states the opposite.

    I find that as soon as people place themselves in place of Christ as mediator then things go wrong.

    I love unity with diversity. It allows for self expression, which is a human need, and protects against falsehoods. I mean the sheer diversity in the Bible! I personally find that awesome because it satisfies creative and intellectual needs. And it means that Jesus commandments aren't more than what his followers can bear.
     
  8. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    True. Very true.
     
  9. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I agree. It is a real problem when any group or person takes the place of Jesus as mediator.
     
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  10. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    Do you follow Reformed theology by any chance? I find that they are pretty cool. Don't know the inner workings of them, but I really see that most of what they say coincides with the Bible.
     
  11. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    No, I am afraid I don't really agree with Reformed theology. I went to a reformed church for four years though and did get a pretty good understanding of that perspective.
     
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  12. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    I would really like to hear your viewpoint. I will message you.
     
  13. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "Watchtower studies"

    I am not a Christian. I am Ahmadiyya peaceful Muslim. I attended JW Church many times. I observed that they do not teach Bible in their services but they teach Watch-Tower magazine even if it contradicted with the Bible. I pointed out that to the people and they were upset with this observation of mine. Now one confirms it to me.

    Regards
     
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  14. David1967

    David1967 Well-Known Member
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    I have had very similar experiences here myself. @Deeje and I have had several useful discussions. I'm not a JW, but so far she hasn't held it against me.;)
     
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  15. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    And would not. I very much enjoy fruitful discussions with people who can be civil and open to new ideas about things they might already know. You know David, the thing that amuses me about ex-JW's is that they never have a "right religion" to point to and say.....here we are...we are all the ex JW's and.....this is what we believe...come worship the right way with us. All they ever do is what is demonstrated on threads like this.....standing outside the door whining and complaining about what they left....but having no real cohesive direction about where to go. When you learn the truth....you can't "unlearn" it.

    We are well rid of them because people like that are just a corrosive influence in our ranks. Christians in the first century had to make choices too. Their religious leaders were saying all manner of horrible things about Jesus and those who believed them ended up where? Cursing themselves and their children with Jesus' blood. (Matthew 27:25)

    We will leave judgment to Jesus since his opinion is the only one that counts here. I will not be participating in this thread again. I have nothing to defend and people will believe whatever they want to believe anyway.
     
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  16. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    The desire for unity is nice. The idea that unity can come through doctrines is a failed idea. Its failed repeatedly. In the end people just have to learn to put up with each other.

    Open interpretation is difficult to sustain. It takes energy to let other people have their opinions. The Bible Student Movement begins with that, but look what happens. I think you should have open interpretation but think that unity doesn't come from that.
     
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  17. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Protestants do debate eachother at times but it isn't usually from the standpoint of 'I'm saved and you aren't.' There are stunning truths held in common.

    An example of an interesting debate is WAR part 1 and 2 ( word of faith AND reformed )



    and

     
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  18. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    That is true to an extent. Witnesses study their commentaries and proof text, which means that they don't necessarily choose scriptures based on the whole context. For instance, we had a Bible reading programme in which we gradually went through the bible by ourselves. So I think within the year we would read the whole bible. Problem is that at meetings only certain sections of those verse would be commented on. Which means that they are not doing a true study of the whole bible. True bible study is verse by verse.

    I also pointed out what you did. People didn't like it when I did that either.
     
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  19. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    That's great. And I doubt she ever would. Witnesses preach to save others out of love for Jehovah and fellow man.
     
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  20. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Active Member

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    It is great that you enjoy civil discussions. I don't think you would be on Religious forums if you didn't. :)

    It seems that what you are saying is that one has to point to a right religion in order to say that JW's are wrong? That is illogical. All I have to do is show that you contradict the scriptures and have fruit to show that you are wrong as a group. Unity means nothing when that unity is detrimental to ones mental health and isn't based on truth.

    As I implied in my thread, the bible leaves many aspects of Christianity open to interpretation. Also, you want people to worship the right way, but what is the right way now among witnesses is not the right way that the JW's taught 50 years ago because doctrine constantly changes. The orgs promises about being the right way years ago is proven false by the "New light" that gets revealed. So you yourself do not have the right way as proven by "New Light". So what do you mean by "When you learn the truth"?. Which truth from what era of the witnesses are you referring to? And if you cannot "unlearn" "the truth" does that mean that you cannot change what you believe now? Does that mean that you do not believe in the "overlapping generation' because you cannot unlearn what you were previously taught?

    The fact that you will not participate further is disappointing. As I said, if you have a problem with what I said then refute me. If you are right then I will become a Witness again. But unfortunately all you have attempted to do is discredit me without addressing my points and use the ad hominem fallacy, which was unnecessary.

    I have no problem with you as a person. I believe you have good intentions. But please think about why you do not want to participate further. And also how something like the shunning policy affects those shunned. I was just stating my observations and am open for refutation at any point.

    Keep well Deeje.
     
    #20 Israel Khan, May 19, 2019
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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